Your Views on the food crisis

Al Jazeera viewers share their experiences as prices of staples soar.

    In the Philippines, people have been rushing to buy rice as the price has soared [EPA]

    The World Bank has warned that food shortages and soaring prices are threatening the well-being and security millions of people across the world.

    Members of Al Jazeera's Your Views forum have been telling us their hopes, fears and experiences during the global food crisis.

    John, Flushing, USA

    "Food is a basic necessity just as clean water, air and shelter from extreme weather.

    Your Views

    How is the rising cost of staple foods affecting you?

    Send us your views

    "If the world continues on this trend, "terror" may be the least of the concerns of world governments.

    "When you have millions of people around the world that don't have access to the necessities that sustain life, that can be a force to reckon with.

    "Palestinians broke the fences and flooded into Egypt when placed into that life or death situation.

    "With modern technology in farming, I don't think it's a shortage of food so far, it is that many people don't have access to it."

    Journey, Cairo, Egypt

    "In Egypt, the prices are so high people are fighting over bread and more than 10 people died because of it! The bread price has rose from 5 piasters to 25 piasters and that might seem fine to some people, but there are families who live with only 100 L.E a month and even less than 100!

    "People need to at least to eat, if they didn't, they will die. Not to mention the oil prices which rise every single week!"

    JohnBoy27, Leicester, United Kingdom

    "I hope that in the UK it will mean we can yet again develop and revitalise our own agriculture, which has been financially undermined by cheap imports from abroad, involving in particular the exploitation of those in the third world."

    Tjaya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

    "High price of oil is the main cause for the high prices that the poor are compelled to pay for their food. Oil producers have no sympathy and they do not know what to do with their money.

    "Due to terrorist problems and other wars between political groups, poor countries spend money on arms.

    "This again benefits rich countries. OPEC must bring down the price of oil and help the poor countries."

    Shinichi, Yokohama, Japan

    "An increase in the value of foods obviously results from ridiculous rises in oil price and biofuel development.

    "We need to break through this pressing problem other than biofuel policy given imminent starvation and severe condition of worldwide environmental problem."

    Taurusthecat, Melbourne, Australia

    "We have a drought here which has been affecting food production for quite a while and our farmers are doing it extremely tough.

    "The major supermarkets blame this drought for higher prices [which have gone through the roof] but in reality most of the price hike is attributed to the higher cost of fuel needed to transport the food to the cities, and the major two supermarkets controlling the market are doing a cash-grab on top. They have put most small grocers out of business.

    "The problem with quality food becoming out of reach to many low-income people is that they get sick from a bad diet and then overload the health system.

    "Over time, the global food crisis is going to cost a whole heap more than trying to fix the current problem.

    "The GM issue is worrying too, as one corporation is trying to patent seeds and not only will this expose farmers to lawsuits from contaminated crops, but also they are introducing pesticide-resistant plants to the world so they can sell their own product."

    Carlos, Brazil

    "It doesn't affect me personally and I guess most people who can afford the internet as well not. But it affects my thinking. Agriculture - monoculture, big multinational companies selling seeds, fertilizer, pestisides.

    "What you can do is grow your own, at least a little. If you have more space permaculture is the way to go, I think..."

    Daisy Cutter, Ireland

    "Trust the UN to warn nations of potential problems in good time! This has been talked about since last summer when prices started increasing. Excuses given then were over consumption in emerging countries and diverting agriculture for biofuels.

    "Most of the shortages in developing countries are caused by hoarding or poor planning. Any competent government must have reserves for short term difficulties.

    "What we are seeing is nothing to do with nature but mismanagement whether deliberate or accidental and frankly a body such as the UN should be able to warn of potential shortages in good time. Something as basic as food is too important to leave to the markets alone."

    Guydemaupassant, Masterton, New Zealand

    "It's not really about the effect of rising staple food costs, but why?

    "It is all about rising oil costs, and I just do not believe that it has anything to do with shortage of supply, supply costs or anything to do with the oil production business.

    "It is surely all about the greed aspect of capitalism; those with funds to invest would rather put these funds into puchasing oil than into stock markets, banks or whatever. And no one can blame them.

    "But to artificially increase the value of a commodity that 95 per cent of the world depends on in some way, and which is now forcing up costs of our staple diet, is just not on!

    "There is no shortage of oil, never has been, will not be in the future for hundreds of years. The global population are being held to ransom by a tiny percentage of this population for personal greed."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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